Karel Geraerts: A tough team to play against, but we’re feeling confident
Schalke 04’s head coach can pick from almost a full complement of players ahead of his side’s trip up north for a clash with Holstein Kiel on Sunday (11/2, 13:30 CET). The Royal Blues will be looking to build on their crucial 1-0 home victory against Eintracht Braunschweig.
Aside from Assan Ouédraogo and Leo Greiml, all of S04’s players will be available to Karel Geraerts ahead of their match in Kiel this weekend. Dominick Drexler, who was forced off with a foot injury in the 4-1 friendly win over SC Verl on Wednesday (7/2), is fit and has already returned to team training.
Cedric Brunner, who had been ill, made his comeback to training at the start of the week after sitting out of the game against Braunschweig due to a suspension. Geraerts kept his cards close to his chest when asked whether Brunner would start at right-back against KSV, after the Belgian expressed his happiness with Henning Matriciani’s performance last weekend. New arrival Brandon Soppy represents another option for the right side of S04’s defence. “We saw in the game against Verl that Brandon needs more minutes before he’s ready. We’re working together with him to get him into the best condition as quickly as possible,” said Geraerts.
It’ll be challenging, but we like games like these
Paul Seguin will likely make an appearance in the midfield, after recording the most passes and touches for the side in the clash against Braunschweig. “Paul is a key player for us, and key players are always targeted that bit more by the opposition, which will in turn give others more space on the pitch,” Geraerts explained. With the likes of Blendi Idrizi, Darko Churlinov and Kenan Karaman, the head coach has players in his ranks who can exploit these gaps and are keen to have the ball at their feet.
When questioned about the upcoming opponent, Geraerts revealed that KSV are a side who tend to play with a modern style of football and have a strong group of players to match. “It will be challenging, but we like games like these,” shared the Belgian. He is of the opinion, however, that the key to success will be for the team to stay focused on themselves. “We know the direction we want to head in, and have the quality in our squad to achieve that. Kiel will be a tough team to play against, but we’re feeling confident.”